Compliance-Improvement Strategies for Slow Down, Move Over Laws

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportOther


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES Road Rule 79A (RR79A) was introduced in Victoria in 2017 with the policy intent to provide emergency and enforcement workers additional protection from passing vehicles when conducting duties by the roadside. Low compliance significantly reduces the effectiveness of such road rules, and potentially creates an additional road safety risk, particularly in high speed environments. While a number of jurisdictions around the world have implemented variations on Slow Down, Move Over laws similar to RR79A, there is limited published scientific evidence relating to the effectiveness of, or compliance with, such laws either in Australia or internationally. The aim of this project was to identify evidence on improving driver compliance with a range of road rules that could potentially be applied in the context of RR79A. The objectives were to identify: 1. Effectiveness of strategies specifically aimed at improving driver and rider compliance with Slow-Down, Move-Over laws in overseas and other Australian jurisdictions. 2. Factors that improve compliance with laws that are (i) new, misunderstood, unpopular or not used on a regular basis, (ii) likely to have relevance for RR79A. 3. System-based strategies and solutions that support drivers and riders to comply with speed reduction regulations in dynamic environments, including the provision of early warning mechanisms to drivers of approaching road or roadside hazards. EVIDENCE The evidence on compliance strategies is complex. In order to achieve compliance with a road rule, the individual must be: aware the rule exists; know and understand the circumstances in which it applies; and make a decision that complying with the rule is the best course of action. When considering strategies to improve compliance with road rules, a range of options could be selected depending on the specific rule and context in which it occurs. For example, different strategies may be selected to improve awareness of a new rule (mass media) or improve understanding of, or attitudes towards, a road rule (information/ education). Enforcement and infrastructure measures may be used in the context of general (or specific) deterrence or to change the way in which drivers interact with the road environment. Importantly, combinations of these measures are most often used rather than a single measure. Where evaluations exist, given the wide range of outcomes being sought, the evidence is mixed and often contradictory. This generally reflects that compliance is rarely achieved using one strategy. A number of different approaches are usually used, and isolating the effects of one component in a multi-factorial strategy is often not possible. Slow Down, Move Over Laws Although many international jurisdictions have implemented a version of a Slow Down, Move Over law, there is very little research or evaluations investigating compliance levels or overall effectiveness. This is compounded by varying definitions of ‘Slow Down, Move Over’. From the limited information available, compliance with such rules was perceived to be low. In the context of this type of law specifically, there is some evidence that red and blue lights are sufficient and amber directional lights do not have any additional benefit. However, providing drivers with advance warning of an upcoming emergency vehicle increases compliance as they have more time to respond safely. International consultations provided some evidence from Canada that compliance and enforcement remain challenging despite having their version of the rule in place for fifteen years.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
Commissioning bodyRoads Corporation (trading as VicRoads) (Victoria)
Number of pages62
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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